"Prier, Pensir, Agir" ~~ Pray, Think, Do ~~ A Presbyterian Pastor's Blog
I've always hated this idea. I hate it even more now that I have a son. I guess you do what you have to do, but that doesn't make it feel any better.
It broke my heart! Especially when 09/11 happened and we went into war against Iraq. Several of his good high school friends (earning money for college by joining the Reserves)got deployed. I praise God, in a selfish way, that we were able to afford college tuition for him, but my heart breaks for all the others.
I just lived through this myself, last June. We had several long talks about it. We are as conflicted as we can be. Like you, we are citizens, and this is one things that citizens do. (Well, 49% of them, anyway.)But in the end, it was his decision, and we could not do it for him, but did encourage him to follow the law. He put it off, and did not do it until he got a few pointed reminders from Selective Service. But he's legal now.
We had to register Levi last July. It kind of made me sick at my stomach. Actually at one point in his life he really wanted to go to the military but when he was 17 we found out that he has a slight heart problem, not enough to be life threatening but hopefully enough to keep him out of the miliatry. (that is my wish -not his).
in Finland you don't sign up - it's automatic and all young men (unless exempted) have to do military service. The only way not to is to leave the country and not return until you turn 30. Most don't choose that option. (It may be deferred for a while for studies but no later than aged 26!)That said, I can only imagine how hard it is for you, esp with the USA at war right now. interesting what cheesehead said that you can't make sons register. I guess if they don't it's they themselves who 'pay the price' whatever that may be - but that's heartbreaking too.bless you all - my son is 16 later this year. Luckily driving license is at 18 here, so while that means still two more years taxiing him (4 more for DD) but that is another hurdle we have to face at 18. (and it's SO expensive here too!)
It has always struck me as gender discrimination that boys are forced into this and not girls. With women fully into the military now, it seems harsh. I'm a pacifist anyway, so I'm not all gungho military, but it has always surprised me that girls are not similarly required.
I totally agree with PPB. I think girls should have to register, too. I'll never forget when my beloved high-school boyfriend was turning 18. He was definitely a pacifist. He asked what I thought he should do....I said I thought he should register. After he did it we cried.
I also agree that if we are going to compel young men to register, we ought to compel young women, too. I am in favor of some sort of community service for all young people, but I believe that unless we are under direct threat (in other words, not now!), service in the military should be elective. #1 Son registered almost two years ago. I remember thinking that he was too blind (20/400) to be of much use in combat. I was much more emotional about my younger son and began encouraging him to become a fine clarinet player, one fit for the Army, Navy or Air Force Band. That's my version, I suppose, of saying I would help him skip the country, and perhaps proves that no matter how idealistic we are, most of us will think up some way to defend our own young ones from harm.
My son is still pride of the registeration card he recieved a year ago. He had to remind me that he needed to register. Not that I forgot but I had mixed emotions about it. I agree with the others, girls should also have to register.
Both my sons registered and it distressed me no end, even though things weren't as fraught as they are now. StrongOpinions would concur that girls like her should be under the same obligation as her brothers, but she would be more vocal in opposition to ANYONE registering and would be more likely to head up to Canad or find some kind of alternative service. Misery no matter what.
I'm late to this, but my oldest son turns 18 this spring. He has told me he will register, but he is also looking into making his conscientious objector status official.
Do they still tie registration to eligibility for federal grant/loan money for college? That's what really torqued me when I was that age--that less afluent kids were put in an awkward position on this which wealthier kids could avoid.
Post a Comment